“There are 900 million ash trees in New York, and they represent about 7 percent of our forestry resources,” said Bopp. He added that it is a large component of the state’s natural resources to have at risk, and that a dead tree can provide a hazard to individuals and trouble for municipalities.
The state is carrying out a strategy known as SLAM, or Slow Ash Mortality. As part of the plan, the DEC is attempting to more precisely define infestation boundaries, while also researching insecticides and organisms that can be used to control the spread of the borer.
“Other states that have experienced this have essentially done clear-cutting, presuming that was the end game,” said Bopp. “Instead of cutting down every ash tree within 1,000 yards, we are visually inspecting trees before we get into any massive action or larger-scale action.”
“It is very important to remind everyone to not move any ash materials or firewood from the Selkirk area to prevent this infestation from spreading further,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens.
Bopp said the best thing for the public to do is to contact the department if anything suspicious is observed near ash trees. More details about spotting and reporting emerald ash borers can be found at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7253.html.